We’re aware of a WhatsApp voice message doing the rounds which claims, amongst other things, that our staff are having adverse reactions to the COVID vaccine.
This is completely false.
These types of rumours undermine the work of our frontline staff, cause more fear and panic in our communities, and could potentially undo all the effort we’ve all put into overcoming this awful virus.
False: Staff are getting sick from the COVID-19 vaccine
All vaccines need time to work, usually up to a couple of weeks, and the COVID jabs are no different.
It’s still possible to catch COVID-19 until your immune system builds up the necessary antibodies to fight the virus. And as it takes up a couple of weeks for symptoms to show up, some people may have caught the virus in the weeks leading up to their jab.
We see this every year during flu season, which is why we always start giving out flu jabs in late summer.
Many of our frontline workers have been vaccinated against flu and COVID: their only side effects being a sore arm and renewed optimism for the future.
Fact: CEO Chris Bown emailed our staff to ask for volunteers to work extra shifts
Before Christmas we asked our staff to either rearrange their leave or step forward to book extra shifts. Chris repeated that message on Sunday 27 December.
Both requests had nothing to do with the vaccine.
As the pressures of winter and COVID increase on your local health service, we need to have enough staff to care for you. For example, running an ITU bed requires a lot of resource – from the machines that keep you alive to the medical staff who look after you.
Some of our staff are off sick due to COVID or other illnesses.
Or they might be off because they’re shielding, or isolating because someone close to them has tested positive.
Some staff are taking some well-deserved time off over the Christmas period.
Either way, we’ve asked people who can to volunteer for extra shifts so we can look after you during this difficult winter.
Be careful about what you share
The really important thing to remember here is that correlation does not mean causation: just because two things happen, it doesn’t mean one has caused the other.
There are many reasons some people create or share false information: some people think they’re being helpful, some people want to disrupt our efforts to contain and fight the virus, and others are just ignorant.
No one can fact check everything, so most of the time it’s down to you to decide what’s fact or fiction – it could mean the difference between life and death.